Grandmaster JinBodhi’s teaching on July 3, 2014
Energy Bagua is a fitness method that combines movement with stillness. It cultivates body and mind through slow walking and a set of very particular movements. The focus of Energy Bagua is on “walking,” so we remind everyone as always: We hope you can walk to achieve health and happiness; remember to be at ease and don’t stress about the results.
The concept of “walking according to the flow” means breaking with adversity and walking into a natural flow that elevates your state of mind. This concept is about the spiritual part. You may currently feel bored with your daily practice; with further and deeper practicing, you may suddenly experience a breakthrough in the form of a unique and indescribable feeling. It’s like someone suddenly tastes the true sweetness of porridge that has no sugar or spices added to it. Walking Energy Bagua has the effect of “bringing out the true taste in ordinary things.” Practicing this seemingly simple exercise can bring unexpected results, such as getting rid of the troubles of aging and illness. Of course, the effects differ for different people, but people usually get these benefits.
Most people walking here every day have a serious illness. For a few, practicing Energy Bagua is simply a hobby. Our taekwondo coach here suffered many injuries in martial-arts training and car accidents. As a result, his physical condition deteriorated and he became overweight. But now he looks handsome and fit. So, people come here to practice because of their poor health. Energy Bagua is about leaving behind a painful existence full of illness, and walking into health, confidence and a better life.
Energy Bagua is about deeply smelling the fragrance of flowers and truly hearing the chirping of birds through simple circling motions; by attuning with the rhythm of Nature, one steps out of obstacles and adversity. That sounds a bit exaggerated, but through a spiritual awakening, a shift in perspective and walking Energy Bagua, an elevated state is attainable. The complexions of practitioners are no longer dull; they begin to glow.
What does “Bagua” mean? According to online research, it represents eight directions, eight time-spaces, and eight phenomena. For example, in Chinese astrology, it represents good, bad, weak, strong, life, and death; it also represents eight climates and eight colors. “Eight” also means all directions – 360 degrees. If a line is drawn in the middle of a circle, each side will have 180 degrees, right? Draw another line, and it will be 90 degrees for each area, right? So, the whole circle is 360 degrees. The Chinese use “all eight directions” to represent 360 degrees. There are reasons behind this. It symbolizes perfection.
Make good use of the eight substances, colors, diets, and even the eight kinds of mentality. Using the word “eight” may feel restricting, as usually the number eight means comprehensive and skilled. Sometimes, attaining happiness, health or longevity isn’t about eating, using or practicing complex diets or methods. Instead, it’s about appreciating the beauty of ordinary life; this is the way to longevity.
When one reaches a certain age, one’s mind undergoes a change. When we are young, we like addition and keep asking for more. But at a certain point, if we want to experience health, happiness and peace in the heart, it’s time to do subtraction. That can mean decreasing your lust, as your body is no longer fit for that. You’ve already been through all the harm and seen through the fake promises. You should embrace a simple lifestyle. Through this simple way of being, you’ll experience the best feeling in life. The more complicated your heart, diet, clothing, pursuits, working style, social interactions, and overall life become, the more afflicted you will become. You won’t savor any fragrance or beauty in the ordinary; it will instead bring you chaos and confusion. But when you choose subtraction, as you learn to let go of complications one by one, you’ll live in peacefulness, which leads you to the simple yet profound Way. Living the simplest life, you experience the most profound state; in contrast, living a life of complication guarantees affliction. Therefore, many people, especially those who have done business, will say that they have loved, hated, succeeded, suffered, and given up, and that after all those ups and downs, they really started to learn by making subtractions in life.
Many people still don’t understand this and continue to pursue things blindly, which is inviting disaster. The use of subtraction is about de-escalating everything. If you compete with me, I will let go of the “prize.” If you want it, I will give it to you because I don’t want to fight over things. Lao Tzu (the founder of Taoism) had the same approach. If I don’t fight for anything, who will fight with me? Ordinary people may not understand this state, so we often hear people say some version of: “I’m fighting to win first place.” But if you don’t fight for first place, no one will fight with you, so you become the strongest person automatically. On the other hand, if someone is challenging you and you say, “I am the supreme martial arts master,” you will not live long because others will want to compete with you. If you say that you are inexperienced in martial arts, many will respond, “You’re lucky not to get beat. Why should I waste time competing with you?” If you don’t compare and compete with others, you can live a life of safety and peace.
The best lifestyle is a simple lifestyle, one which allows for savoring the kind of beauty, comfort and truth that simplicity brings. The practice of Energy Bagua as taught by me is very much in line with Lao Tzu’s way of being the simplest yet most profound. We attain the simplest and most profound spiritual realm and hope to reap a wonderful, healthy and long life. I also wish to apply the simplest way of thinking to life; a simple mindset makes life happier and longer.
Not taking is a form of giving up or a form of giving. When we become less greedy, we are giving up. Being able to deliberately give up shows a higher realm and genuine generosity. When we practice Energy Bagua, we infuse energy into the body when in starting pose; after practicing, we return energy to the natural world. During the practice process, we return the energy to Nature after using it; we respect the energy but do not possess it. The philosophy of Energy Bagua can be used in other ways to apply practicality, purity and simplicity. The simplest way is the most practical. Anyone can learn to use this philosophy. However, it is not easy for people to persist in applying it. To be able to consistently use the philosophy of Energy Bagua and experience the benefits of simplicity, one needs to have spiritual potential and a deep understanding of life.